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Old 02-19-2010, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Nassau, Long Island, NY
15,804 posts, read 16,860,261 times
Reputation: 6479

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreaII View Post
Besides teachers' high pay, guaranteed jobs through tenure, and their extremely generous health care benefits while they are working, after teachers retire we all foot the bill for their pensions and healthcare benefits they receive for the rest of their lives. Multiply the number of retired teachers and administrators by their retirement packages and watch the numbers increase year by year exponentially.

And of course they receive social security benefits on top of that.

And they also have their 401Ks as well.

I don't know about the rest of you, but we have been trying very hard here to scrimp and save every $ for years. We do have a 401K (don't know what it will actually be worth when we really will need it), and that's it. We will receive social security when the time comes, if it's still viable, and that's about it.

So we try to save and save and save. While the teachers don't have to save a dime for the future. They can live from paycheck to paycheck knowing they have no pressure about the future. The teachers and administrators know the rest of us will be forking over the money we need ourselves for their living costs, which include their vacation condos and their necessary trips to Europe each year.

Real nice gravy train setup they have, isn't it? No one is worth that. No teacher is that spectacular they need to be set up for the rest of their lives.
Great post!

The only nitpick I might add is the teacher's version of the 401(k) is called the 403(b) and it still functions like the 401(k) used to ... as SUPPLEMENTARY retirement income on top of a pension and Social Security.

As I have said before on various threads on the subject, I would rather teachers KEEP their 21st century pay levels while they are working, but give up the 1950s style benefits, pensions and guaranteed job security (whether they deserve it or not). These lifetime entitlements of health insurance benefits (when the rest of us use Medicare) and pension payments plus Social Security plus 403(b)s (when the rest of us use 401ks and Social Security) are no longer affordable, nor viable, for the taxpayers.

Last edited by I_Love_LI_but; 02-19-2010 at 04:18 PM.. Reason: took out "paid" health insurance benefits

 
Old 02-19-2010, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Nassau, Long Island, NY
15,804 posts, read 16,860,261 times
Reputation: 6479
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMike50 View Post
Since the other thread was closed for Mod review A few points I wanted to make. You will never get the teacher's to accept a reduction in pay on L.I. or most or the Northeast (strong unions) Looks what happened the other day in R.I.
Central Falls to fire every high school teacher | Education | projo.com | The Providence Journal


Now look what is happening in Central Va. the school superintendent has asked and volunteered for a reduction in pay 7 % which comes out to 15k
Chesterfield School Superintendent Pay Cut - wtvr (http://www.wtvr.com/news/newsome-salary-cut-budget,0,2840085.story - broken link)

He's also asking and will probably get all teacher's and staff to cut their salaries by 3-4% to help balance the budget in this economic downturn. Instead of just constantly raising taxes, we all should pitch in attitude. Maybe this could also happen on L.I. and make it a more doable place to live.
So can we do it or can't we?
 
Old 02-19-2010, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Nassau, Long Island, NY
15,804 posts, read 16,860,261 times
Reputation: 6479
Quote:
Originally Posted by dman72 View Post
Six figure pension? No teacher will be collecting a 6 figure pension. Even someone making 130K a year making 60-65% of final salary doesn't equal 100K.

Again, it's not that there isn't a valid argument, it's the lies and hyperbole that make discussion of this subject difficult, and why we keep having threads locked because of it.


Public employee abuse of the pension system has been going on for decades. I would say it was much more prevalent 20-30 years ago, especially with cops and fire dept..every other guy was out on "disability" pension..running around coaching football teams, moving vending machines around with a back too bad to allow them to work...etc. Literally Every coach I had playing little league or pee wee football was a cop or FDNY out on diability. I remember my dad talking about it back then, that these guys were basically crooks. They'd trip over their shoelace and then claim that they couldn't work anymore. I know, that's hyperbole true, but the abuse has been around for a long time.

There were expose's in the past, undercover photos in Newsday, etc. Again, it's the way of the world around here in wanna-be mobster-land. You get braggin' rights with Vinny yucking it up over a beer how you fleeced the state.
There ARE six-figure pensions listed in the teacher's retirement program. Several of them. (See the link I will repost.) Where does that come from? Administrators?

I say no more pensions for any public employees. Sorry we just cannot afford it. Use your 401(k)s or 403(b)s like the rest of us have to.

As for the disability stuff, there are a lot of crackdowns on it (mostly investigated by insurance companies, not public sector employers). I think people who fake disability are the lowest of the low.
 
Old 02-19-2010, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Live in NY State, (sometimes) work in CT
6,606 posts, read 8,258,899 times
Reputation: 2259
The sad part about the Central Falls story the OP posted is it appears 50% of the teachers will eventually still be hired back. By law/union agreement that will likely be the higher-paid "tenured" teachers, and the younger (or simply newer) teachers will probably be let go and have a hard time finding another job. It won't be based on merit/performance at all!

So it's obvious why the union opposed this. Because they know all the expensive "old timers" will be back anyway so they'd rather protect them than all teachers. And if they're not back, it will probably be like NYC where because of tenure they'll be on some "reserve" similar to what brought GM and Chrysler down.

By the way, my mother-in-law is a retired NYC teacher and has close to a 6 figure annual retirement (but not quite) so it's not that off base. If she didn't take 9 years off to raise 3 kids until the youngest was school age she would have 6 figures.

As someone who is attempting to career-change into teaching, I still have to say, yes, I can understand concern that without some agreement/protection districts on tight budgets will fire the higher-paid experienced teacher even if they show high-performance, but it has to be a bit more "fluid" than it is now; some of the less-experienced teachers deserve to stay too and there should be a way to do it more on merit and not strictly on seniority. No one else has pensions anymore, it's time to just be on 403(b)s and SSI like the rest of us which will save jobs too.
 
Old 02-19-2010, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Nassau, Long Island, NY
15,804 posts, read 16,860,261 times
Reputation: 6479
Default To try and answer Mike's question ...

... to another poster from the locked thread:

Originally Posted by firefighter55:

Quote:
Big Mike, the whole point of the "what would you make" thread was to show that the cost of living differential isn't as large in the private sector, meaning that if police and teachers can get by on the lower salaries relative to private sector in other parts of the country, why do they need higher salaries relative to the private sector here on LI to get by?
Originally Posted by BigMike50:

Quote:
I need more info than this How much do they make in the PRIVATE SECTOR? I ask what you did and you won't answer me Are we talking about Doctors or busboys? Who are we comparing the teachers/cops salaries againts? I know some people that make 8 $ and hour and some making 750K a year all I know is it costs a lot more to live on Long Island than most places.....and that's a fact!
Good question! Thanks. I think that what we are talking about is not the highs and lows of income on Long Island, but the median income. I went to the "Long Island Index" webpage to try and find the most recent statistics. So far the latest information on income I could find was in their 2009 report:

Long Island Index: 2009 Report & Key Findings

First of all, please note that their statistics on income are based not on individual income, but "income for a family of four," with the statistics reflecting at least two working people bringing in an income. So keep that in mind when comparing it to your PUBLIC sector salary for one individual.

When it comes to the actual numbers, they have a line chart from 2007 with divided into increments of 50,000 which represents the following data sectors: "Long Island Top 10% Income," "Long Island Median" (this is the one we are most interested in), "Long Island Bottom 10% Income," and "U.S. Median." There is no actual data table, nor data labels, so, unfortunately the numbers have to be guesstimated, but we can come somewhat close. If you zoom in on the line chart, for the last year of data available, it looks like the LI Median (for a family of 4) is in the high $90's and the U.S. Median is slightly below that. So we could divide this by 2 (remember, it's total family income, not single) and give the LI median individual income a tentative number of $49,000. I also cannot claim the incomes used for this chart are solely private sector. But let's just try and use this as the median (or if someone finds something better, I am open to it). So compare that to the teacher and police incomes that the taxpayers consider overly burdensome. Also try and take into account the added value of a pension (rather than the 401(k) of the private sector) and the less costly health insurance coverage and that adds thousands in favor of the public sector.

Here is a little more information from the above report regarding how the average LI family is doing financially:

Quote:
How are we doing?

Looking at the long-term trend from 1998 to 2007:

Real incomes for households in the bottom 10% actually dropped 4%.

Real incomes for households at the top 10% rose by 9%.

Median household income has been relatively stagnant.

Median household income has declined relatively steadily since 2003. In constant 2007 dollars, the typical household of four earned 6% less in 2007 as compared to 2003.

These patterns indicate a widening of income inequality on Long Island and an increased economic burden on Long Island households.
Perhaps now you can muster up some little bit of sympathy for the middle class private sector worker who lives on LI? I won't hold my breath because your answer will most likely be, "Move away like I did if you don't like paying the high taxes!"

Although, if everyone took your advice, what do you think will happen to Long Island?

I say, for those of us who want to stay here, why can't we renegotiate these union contracts to better reflect economic reality? We cannot keep having our property taxes doubled every few years. It will come to a breaking point. My problem is less with the salary levels, but with the post-employment entitlements promised in these union contracts like fully-paid health benefits instead of what everyone else has (Medicare) and pensions plus Social Security instead of what everyone else has (401ks plus Social Security). I am not advocating this for "just teachers and police" but for all public employees. The New York State retirement benefits paid out are astronomical and we can't afford this anymore. From New York State Office of the State Comptroller:

Quote:
Estimated value (as of December 31, 2009): $129.4 billion, third largest pension plan in the United States.

3,021 state and local government employers participate in the pension system.

More than one million members, retirees and beneficiaries.

$6.84 billion paid out in benefits in 2008.
My problem is also with the highly paid and probably mostly useless administrations. I would rather have more teachers and less of them. As seen with the Roslyn SD theft fiasco, a perpetrator was jailed, yet is still entitled to his annual pension of $179K. Things like this have got to stop.

Since we are specifically talking about teachers in this thread, here is a

Searchable database of pensions paid by New York State Teacher Retirement System

If anyone else out there can come up with better and more recent statistics of what is considered "private sector middle class income" on LI for Mike to compare to the public sector, I would appreciate any additional thoughts. Also, if anyone can find the above NYS Teacher Retirement System database in a non-Newsday format, I would appreciate a link to that in case some C-D members cannot see it.
 
Old 02-19-2010, 04:30 PM
 
7,315 posts, read 7,748,802 times
Reputation: 2896
Quote:
Originally Posted by superfly10 View Post
on the subject of the pension amount, I've heard that sick time that's been built up can be cashed in their final year and influence the amount the pension is built on. Maybe not for old teachers, but for many due to retire now. In fact, wasn't there a big stink about a Superintendent who retired at a pension that's much more than his actual salary because he cashed in sick days that were worth over 2K a piece!?
This varies by district, but as far as I know your pension rate is not affected by sick days accrued. Sick days accrued just lead to an initial payout on retirement.

I know that in some districts, including where my wife works, they've lowered what is being paid out to half the daily rate to discourage teachers from banking massive amounts of sick days and the district getting whacked for them at the end of the year.
 
Old 02-19-2010, 04:31 PM
 
7,315 posts, read 7,748,802 times
Reputation: 2896
Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Love_LI_but View Post
There ARE six-figure pensions listed in the teacher's retirement program. Several of them. (See the link I will repost.) Where does that come from? Administrators?

I say no more pensions for any public employees. Sorry we just cannot afford it. Use your 401(k)s or 403(b)s like the rest of us have to.

As for the disability stuff, there are a lot of crackdowns on it (mostly investigated by insurance companies, not public sector employers). I think people who fake disability are the lowest of the low.
I'm assuming that they are administrators..otherwise it doesn't make any sense. There is no district on LI paying classroom teachers 150K a year.
 
Old 02-19-2010, 04:34 PM
 
7,315 posts, read 7,748,802 times
Reputation: 2896
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7 Wishes View Post
The sad part about the Central Falls story the OP posted is it appears 50% of the teachers will eventually still be hired back. By law/union agreement that will likely be the higher-paid "tenured" teachers, and the younger (or simply newer) teachers will probably be let go and have a hard time finding another job. It won't be based on merit/performance at all!

So it's obvious why the union opposed this. Because they know all the expensive "old timers" will be back anyway so they'd rather protect them than all teachers. And if they're not back, it will probably be like NYC where because of tenure they'll be on some "reserve" similar to what brought GM and Chrysler down.

By the way, my mother-in-law is a retired NYC teacher and has close to a 6 figure annual retirement (but not quite) so it's not that off base. If she didn't take 9 years off to raise 3 kids until the youngest was school age she would have 6 figures.

As someone who is attempting to career-change into teaching, I still have to say, yes, I can understand concern that without some agreement/protection districts on tight budgets will fire the higher-paid experienced teacher even if they show high-performance, but it has to be a bit more "fluid" than it is now; some of the less-experienced teachers deserve to stay too and there should be a way to do it more on merit and not strictly on seniority. No one else has pensions anymore, it's time to just be on 403(b)s and SSI like the rest of us which will save jobs too.
How is this possible unless either she retired making 100K per year at least and at 100% of salary pension? Was there ever a step in the history of the system when teachers took home 100% of final salary? Doesn't make sense to me what you are saying.
 
Old 02-19-2010, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Nassau, Long Island, NY
15,804 posts, read 16,860,261 times
Reputation: 6479
Quote:
Originally Posted by dman72 View Post
I'm assuming that they are administrators..otherwise it doesn't make any sense. There is no district on LI paying classroom teachers 150K a year.
Okay, so school administrators are also part of the NYS Teacher Retirement System even though they are "administrators" rather than "teachers?" They are union members also?
 
Old 02-19-2010, 05:13 PM
 
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
9,074 posts, read 10,487,123 times
Reputation: 5064
Quote:
Originally Posted by dman72 View Post
I'm assuming that they are administrators..otherwise it doesn't make any sense. There is no district on LI paying classroom teachers 150K a year.
I can name 3 kindergarten teachers in one school in GC making $110K. There are 3 K-1 schools in the district, so do the math. Let me also add that we've only had "full day" kindy here since 2005. My DS' teacher has been teaching for 5 years (he's 29 years old) and he makes $85K. You can't tell me that when he retires he won't be making about $150K. I know another teacher who is building a million dollar home here.

It.can't.continue.
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